What Is Performance?

Performance is the amount of progress an employee has made on their goals. Effective performance management helps employees understand their own personal goals and how they contribute to the company’s overall objectives, which encourages engagement.


Most people use the word “performance” to talk about art: a concert, play or movie. However, this definition can also apply to other areas of life.


Performance is a measure of how well something works. It is important for businesses because it reflects the quality of work, which has an impact on customer satisfaction. Moreover, it can be used to improve efficiency and profitability. For example, a business can achieve better performance by increasing production or decreasing costs. However, it is important to remember that a business operation is only as good as its weakest link. Hence, a company needs to set high standards of quality, speed, dependability and flexibility while minimizing costs.

The term “performance” has multiple meanings, ranging from theater to acrobatics to sports and ceremonies. For example, a person may choose to sit for a long time and watch ants crawl or to walk on a mountaintop and smell the flowers. Both activities are performances, albeit in very different ways. In fact, there are people who study such durations as performances in a special department of their universities (see performance studies departments).

The word is also used to describe an employee’s overall job performance. A common method of assessing performance is through ratings and feedback. These ratings are used to communicate expectations and encourage continuous improvement. However, employees who receive regular performance feedback are more likely to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, they are more likely to engage in open communication with one another.


The term ‘performance’ can be applied to any action that is done in front of an audience for entertainment purposes. This includes anything from theatrical productions, acrobatics, concerts, sports events, and ceremonies. Sometimes the line between the performer and the audience can become blurred, as in the case of “participatory theatre” where audience members get involved in the act.

In organizational terms, performance refers to how well an employee or team functions in accordance with the goals set for them by management. Often, this is measured through a process known as ‘performance management’ where employees are assessed in relation to the achievement of specific organizational objectives. This process is intended to help employees understand and recognize their responsibilities, provide them with a clear picture of what they can achieve in the context of the organization’s core values, and help managers identify areas where further training may be required.

The etymology of the word ‘performance’ is derived from the Latin phrase ‘carry into effect, accomplish’, and the suffix -ance which denotes accomplishment. The origin of the noun is also connected to linguistics, where it was used to describe the way that people use language in real situations, a practice which can be affected by non-linguistic factors like inattention, distraction, memory lapses, fatigue or emotional state.


The word performance is most commonly associated with art, like a play or concert. But it is also used to describe other types of activities or achievements, such as a job interview, a test score, or an athlete’s sports performance.

A performance can be informal, as when someone describes a tiresome procedure: “That performance at the restaurant was just so tedious!”

In terms of a theatrical performance, it can happen in a conventional theater or other designated space. However, it can also happen in non-conventional spaces, such as the streets or a person’s home. This is called performance art, which aims to challenge the viewer’s sense of reality and the distinction between performer and audience. An example of this is Kazuo Shiraga’s 1955 performance, Challenging Mud, in which the artist rolls and moves around in mud on the floor.

In linguistics, the concept of performance (or performativity) is important in explaining how a speaker’s language may be affected by nonlinguistic factors such as their mood or emotions, memory lapses, or fatigue. This has led to a number of theories about how we speak, including the ideas of J. L. Austin, John Searle, Jacques Derrida, and Judith Butler.